Addiction, obsessions…call them what you may.
I have several of them pertaining to food, some of them more virtuous than others. Kale is one of the virtuous ones. (Most of the non-virtuous ones pertain to ice cream and chocolate, and I have much to say about them at a later date.) My family has eaten kale in one way or the other for the past three nights. Kale is a nutritious power-house of a winter vegetable, and we are able to buy organic, local kale all winter long. (Our own kale plants–which the chickens happen to adore, too–survived past Christmas this year.)
A typical preparation is quick and easy: Sauté an onion and some chopped garlic–we like to see chunks of garlic, but mince or even omit if you prefer. Add chopped kale and toss in the pan until wilted. Top with a touch of sea salt and ground pepper and a quick grate of nutmeg if not feeling rushed. Kale also adds a nutritious, tasty punch to many a soup recipe. Last night, however, I went for a raw creation–Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing. It was crunchy, packed with flavor, and bursting with beautiful color. My two boys gave it the double thumbs up. What’s more, wholesome meals like this help me justify a little dessert!
- 2 bunches kale, lacinato or dinosaur if you can find it
- 2 red peppers (or one red, one yellow), cut into fine strips or chopped
- 2 carrots, shaved with a peeler or cut into thin strips
- 1 cup roasted peanuts, divided
- 1/3 cup olive oil (could also use canola or peanut oil)
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- a few grind of the pepper mill
- Slice center rib out of kale leaves. Stacking several leaves at a time, cut into thin strips.
- Toss kale with peppers and carrots.
- In chopper or food processor, pulse 1/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until mostly pureed but leaving some chunkiness to the peanuts.
- Toss the kale mixture with the dressing and let sit for a few minutes to a few hours before serving, adding the 3/4 cup peanuts just before serving. Recipe can be halved but leftovers do keep rather well.
- Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the dressing for added peanut flavor and creaminess in the dressing.
- For an Asian twist, drizzle with a teaspoon or two of sesame oil.